Companies shell out around $170 billion each year in costs related to injuries and illnesses, according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Approximately 3 million employees annually in the US private sector are injured at work, and the amount of injuries and illnesses is highest among small and mid-sized businesses.
Some of the most typical causes for injury were related to handling materials (32 percent), followed by slips, trips or falls (16 percent) and being hit or colliding with an object (10 percent), according to Travelers insurance company.
“Handling materials” refers to any action that might involve lifting, lowering, placing, emptying or moving an object, and this kind of action is associated a wide range of injuries, including sprains, cuts and fractures. It might seem like these kinds of injuries are brought on by more-hands on jobs, like construction. However, manufacturing and retail environments actually had a higher number of material-handling injuries than any other industry.
The average injury is rather costly. Sprains and strains could set a company back a $17,000. A fracture can cost $42,400. Even a case of inflammation can cost around $24,500.
Injuries are more typical for newest employees: At least a quarter of incidents or injuries occur to people who’ve been with a company for less than 12 months, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
The following tried-and-true approaches to reducing workplace injuries can not only save your company money, it could also save lives.
All businesses must have policies set up that tackle various risks, including ergonomics and repetitive motion injuries. These policies should regularly change to keep pace with ever-changing workplace environments, as well as health and safety (EHS) laws.
Neglecting to address EHS threats can lead to businesses facing personal-injury lawsuits and regulatory infractions, both of which can severely could cut into the bottom line. Above all, not taking a proactive approach to can lead to negative cultural effects and larger HR issues.
Address hazards with safety procedures
In some cases, hazards can be sorted out by simple fixes. For instance, standardized ergonomic equipment can help mitigate soft tissue injuries. Mandating safety training for all workers is an essential tool for decreasing EHS risks across all teams.
Foster a culture of safety
Encouraging a culture of safety doesn’t just help minimize risks, it also feeds into a focus on safety that should be part of a company’s brand, which can play a role in attracting and holding onto top talent.
At Career Concepts, we fully support all the safety initiatives of our clients. If your company is currently looking for a talent acquisition partner with high safety standards, please contact us today.